French lentil salad

This is a great recipe for summer picnics. It can be easily modified. Try substituting any whole grain (farro, quinoa, millet) or legume (garbanzo beans, cannellini beans) for the French lentils. Experiment with seasonal vegetables and herbs! The nutrition behind the dish:

  • Lentils: Carbohydrate, protein, fiber, folate, iron, copper, thiamin, manganese, selenium, potassium
  • Red bell pepper: Fiber, vitamins: C, A, E & B6
  • Tomato: Fiber, vitamins: A, C, K and potassium
  • Cucumber: Vitamins: K, A, C & fiber
  • Garlic: Vitamins: C, B6, manganese & calcium
  • Mint, dill, parsley: Vitamins: K, A, C & folate
  • Lime juice: Vitamin C, carbohydrate (fructose)

(Recipe adapted from Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives. The Culinary Institute of America)

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1½ cups French De Puy lentils (or similar)
  • 2 roasted bell peppers (red and/or yellow), chopped
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped ½" dice
  • 1 medium cucumber, ½" dice, peeled if needed
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste 

Lime cumin vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice (2 limes) or more to taste
  • ½ tsp lime or lemon zest, finely grated
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Cover lentils with water in a small saucepan, add ½ tsp salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, but still a little firm, about 25-30 minutes. (Or use pre-cooked lentils.)
  2. For the vinaigrette: in a jar, combine the lime juice, lemon zest, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic and salt. The dressing is tart! Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  3. Drain the lentils and toss them while warm with the vinaigrette, peppers, parsley, dill and mint.
  4. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Mound the lentils on a platter and garnish with the tomatoes and cucumber. Serve warm or cold.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 280
  • Total fat: 2 g
  • Saturated fat:
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 52 g
  • Dietary fiber: 13 g
  • Sugars: 8 g
  • Protein: 17 g